Coming off the high of the Eugene Half Marathon, I was really looking forward to running the Hippie Chick ... and only running half the distance. I wanted to do this one just for fun. No matter what, I'd get a PR. I've done 10K races before, but this was to be 6.55 miles, which is a first for me. Without a time goal, I was feeling very relaxed about the whole thing!
At 5am, my alarm went off, waking up everyone at Casa de Biker Boy. Everyone would be myself, my mommy and Biker Boy. My mommy was awesome and helped me get my hair into pig tails so I could top off my 'look' for the day. When 6am came, we piled into BB's car and were off to Hillsboro. I'm glad we got there early because I noticed traffic seemed to get pretty backed up the closer it got to race time. We had a great parking spot and sat in the warm car while I pathetically tried to eat half of a bagel.
*Oh, the expo. That was on Saturday. My mom and I went and although I found some things I could buy, the line was crazy. Perhaps I just got there at the wrong time. Packet pick-up was a breeze, and I was finally able to get my hands on the sweatshirt I pre-ordered months ago!*
Back to the race. First stop was the potty. The line got insanely long, and I hear the women started taking over the men's room, too. Makes sense since it IS a women only race and therefore not many males lingering around.
With a couple of minutes until the start I met up with Kim for our pre-race photo! I wished her well and then moseyed on into the unorganized starting chute. I wasn't stressing on getting to the actual start since it was chip timed. I just stayed calm, hit the mat and was on my way. Chaos. It was chaos. So many women, so little space. A police officer on a motorcycle was going up and down the route telling everyone to move right. Right to where?? We were on top of each other with nowhere to go.
Groove is in the Heart came on, and I fell into my rhythm. A perfect way to start off the race and get my mind off of the congestion! My calves started to burn. I just ignored it and ran through it and soon felt okay. The course was very rural. I felt like we were just running through fields and farmland - very peaceful. Unfortunately the on-course spectators were very minimal. After Eugene and all of the people cheering for us, it was kind of lonely to not have many people giving us positive messages.
Four miles in the race changed for me. I had wanted to stay at 11 minute miles or less, but my leg had other plans. My left knee was really hurting after Eugene, so I took it easy between the two races. But then it just started screaming. I was hurting pretty bad, but kept thinking about Katye and her Boston experience. If she could finish a marathon with a torn calf muscle after pleading to be allowed to continue, then I could certainly run the last 2.55 miles. Coming up on 5 miles Britney Spears' Stronger came on. I used that as my anthem and kept moving. A few times I HAD to walk. The pain buckled me over and I could barely move. My leg stopped bending by the time I hit 6 miles. My mental strength was out of control during this race. Instead of walking or pouting, I was fighting as hard as I could.
|*Photo courtesy of Kim's daughter!*|
After 6.66 miles (according to my Garmin, and I've heard 2 other people say the course ran long) I was crossing the finish line on the football field. I LOVE running on football fields! Somehow I mustered up strength to minimize the limping while I was on that final stretch. Once I crossed, that changed. Walking was incredibly slow and painful. Are you waiting to hear that again I lost it at the finish and got sick? Well too bad, I'm not going to tell you that this time! And I was even prepared with napkins shoved in my bra. They were super sweaty, so I'm glad I didn't need them!
I had a really good time. It was crazy how short a quarter marathon felt after doing 3 half marathons in 2 months! I'm not sure I'll do it again next year, not because of anything bad with the race, I just want fresh medals. Okay, fine. I was seriously disappointed. They kept saying there would pancakes a the finish. I was looking forward to it for months. Pancakes turned into breakfast burritos. Blech. We ended up at Shari's for breakfast where I got French toast instead. Super yummy!
I finished in 1:15:22 and was 46 out of 109 in my division, 340 out of 856 overall. I am thrilled with my time! For comparison, my PR for a 10K is 1:12. Adding to the fact that I think we ran extra, I feel like for being sort of injured I kicked major ass!
Right now I am in a race hiatus. I have nothing scheduled until July 24th. That could change at any given moment, and you'll be the first to know!